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My favorite kind of points are those that you can transfer to numerous different programs. The three key transferable-points programs that I bank to are Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. I love educating fellow travelers about these programs, so I was glad when TPG reader Therese messaged me on Facebook this week with the following question:
“I want to book a United award ticket and was told there was a charge of $15 per transfer of 1,000 Ultimate Reward points to my United account. Is this correct? Thank you!”
There are also no fees when you transfer Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints into airline miles. However, American Express Membership Rewards will charge a .06-cent excise fee per point when you transfer to US frequent flyer programs. For example, if you transfer 50,000 Amex points to Delta, you’re going to get hit with a $30 transfer fee. (Note that the Amex transfer fee is capped at $99 per transaction.) To minimize these fees and maximize your Amex points, transfer your Membership Rewards to foreign frequent flyer programs like British Airways Avios.
I hope this answers your question, Therese – and good luck on your United award booking!
If anyone has additional questions, please message me on Facebook, tweet me @ThePointsGuy, or send me an email at email@example.com. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.